Friday, May 28, 2010

Highlights of 'Select' Public Activities by NSI (Delhi Chapter) Since 2008

Public Meeting: Violence and Memory in the Andes: The Case of Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Peru

Speaker: Prof. Felix Reategui-Carrillo

Date & Venue: Room No 6, Ramjas College, Delhi University

About the Speaker: Prof. Felix Reategui-Carrillo is a professor of sociology at Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. He is also the coordinator of the Research Unit of the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights at the same University. He also worked in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Peru (2001 – 2003)

Public Meeting: UNIVERSITY FACTORIES: State of Higher Education in India

Speakers: Prof. Apoorvanand (Delhi University), Prof. Saumen Chottopadhaya (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Date & Venue: 19th February, 2010, Activity Centre, Delhi University

Background Note: The best news about Indian institutions of higher education is not about an intellectual work, but about the size of pay packages received by IIM graduates. On the other hand, a management institute in Noida recently forced its female students to cook food for their male peers on Valentine Day to show their sisterly love. Both are signs of a factory education system that is driven by market demand and places unbridled power in the hand of Managers. Private institutes and institutions giving professional degrees are already behaving like sweatshop factories. But the new policy framework, creation of smaller size institutions, pressure to get accredited and introduce semester system in a hurry are pushing state-funded universities too towards the factory model of education. Factories of education treat students as raw materials, to be ruthlessly moulded into marketable commodities. The freedom to enjoy the thrill of knowing and innovation¸ to break rules and rebel, to imagine a world different from the one given, in short the very freedom to be young is sacrificed at the altar of market. And yet, given the generalized shoddy production of Indian capitalism and criminal unprofessionalism of Indian elites, even the narrowly conceived education imparted is incomplete, lacks intellectual content and relies on rote learning. Under the corporate model of governance V.C.s and Heads act like bosses and pursue their personal agendas without transparency and accountability. In India this gets combined with a feudal patronage system which is most irresponsible towards the weakest, namely students. Globalisation of markets and cultures has opened new avenues in and for Indian higher education. Education fairs of second-rate foreign universities, tie ups with some well known ones, and demeaning surrender of academic autonomy to foreign agendas in return for a few trips abroad and tête-à-tête with foreign academia, are signs of a system that breeds and thrives on servility. Such is the extent of apish mentality that the only reason the VC of the largest central university can give for pushing semester system over an unconvinced faculty is that good foreign universities follow this system.

A system of higher education in public domain that combines open learning with public rationality is the first sign of an enlightened public sphere. Is it a mere coincidence that the period during which the new education system has taken root is also seeing rampant regional chauvinism, religious bigotry and caste prejudice?

Protest Demonstration: Say No to Violation of Dalit Human Rights in Madhya Pradesh

Date & Venue: 5th December, 2009. Jantar Mantar, Parliament Street, Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

Background Note: Dalits ( Ahirwar community) in Gadarvara Tehsil (Narsinghpur District, M.P.) are facing social boycott for asserting their rights as equal human beings.The Ahirwar's refusal to stop the obnoxious practice of carrying of the carcasses of dead beasts and live a life of dignity and honour has incensed the dominant castes in the area.

Under the social boycott dalits have been barred from purchasing anything from the local shop and have even been barred from taking water from the public tap. Since a majority of the dalits are landless, the dominant castes have even prohibited them from entering their fields to relieve themselves. Utilising their contacts in the administration, the dominant castes have even stopped them from benefitting from the different governmental schemes like NREGS etc.

Despite repeated representations by the dalits to the administration to enforce a rule of law and take stringent action against the perpetrators for practising untouchability, their has not been any movement on part of the state. In fact, the administration seems to be engaged in 'convincing' the dalits that by their very act they are losing their 'source of income'.

The precarious situation of dalit human rights in the area demands a swift response from the state. It is high time that cases are filed against the perpetrators under relevant sections of Scheduled Castes- Scheduled Tribes ( Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. It may be emphasised here that if the powers that be desire, all such people  can be immediately arrested for committing a cognisable offence of practising untouchability. Section 4 of the said act also permitts the government to file cases against all those government officials who have exhibited dereliction of duty.

Undoubtedly, Narsinghpur is not an exception. Figures collated by Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission provide details of the fact that today M.P. happens to be the state which stands no 2 as regards atrocities against dalits are concerned and stands first when one discusses cases of atrocities against tribals.M.P. also happens to be the state which 'tops' the list of states as regards cases of violence against women.

Any justice and peace loving person would want that the situation needs to be radically changed. It is high time to realise that we need to act unitedly to make this happen.

Public Meeting: "It was not about Being an Indian. It was a Fight Against Racism" - The Campaign Against Racism in South Korea"

Speakers: Bonojit Hussain (Researcher/Activist, SungKongHoe University, Seoul), Jiyoung LeeAn (Independent Researcher/Activist, Seoul, South Korea)

Date & Venue: 4th November, 2009, Seminar Room, Ramjas College, Delhi University

About Speakers: Bonojit Hussain has been associated with NSI since its inception. Now he is based in Seoul and works as a University researcher. Last summer he and his female colleague was racially assaulted  on a public bus, not taking the assault lightly (as it happens quite often to migrants, especially to working class migrants), they filed a approached the criminal court and the National Human Rights Commission of Korea with complaints both against the assailant and the Metropolitan Police Department. Since then it has snowballed into a popular movement against racism in south Korea. 
Jiyoung LeeAn is a social researcher and activist based in Seoul. Formerly she has been a program officer at Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternatives (ARENA)., where she use to co-ordinate the action research program on 'Marriage Migrant" in Korea. She has been one of the most vocal Korea activist fighting for the rights of women marriage migrants in Korea. She is also a columnist for Inter-Press Service.  

Public Meeting & Cultural Program: People Against State Violence: The Manipur Saga

Date & Venue: 6th November, 2009, Vivekananda Statue, Arts Faculty, Delhi University

Speakers: Arundhati Roy (Writer/Activist), Colin Gonsalvez (Lawyer/Activist), Y Jilangamba (Researcher JNU), Mayur Chetia (NSI), Prof. Achin Vinayak (Delhi University), Prof. Sudha Vasan (Delhi University)

Artists: Imphal Talkies (Delhi based Manipuri Band), Ahad (Progressive Sufi Band), Chanambam K (Student singer, KM College)

Background Note: Since July 23 people of Manipur are agitating in front of the state assembly in Imphal. All schools and colleges are closed, commercial establishments are shut. On that day, Chongkham Sanjit, a reformed ex-militant was murdered by soldiers of Manipur Police Commandos in broad day light in a market. Murder, rape, extortion and looting by armed forces of the state are a part of daily life in Manipur. Five years ago in 2004, Manorama was raped and killed by soldiers of Assam Rifles. Women of Manipur had then demonstrated naked in front of the head-quarters of Assam Rifles, declaring ‘We are Mothers of Manorama’ and challenging soldiers of Indian Union with a banner, ‘Indian Army Rape Us’.  

State violence against people of Manipur gets legal sanctity from Armed Forces Special Powers Act (1958), which permits units of Indian Army to kill on the basis of mere suspicion. AFSPA has been applied in different parts of the so-called ‘north-east’ India for more than five decades, its clones are in operation in Kashmir valley. If recent statements of Home Minister are to be believed, it may be extended all over India. Chanu Irom Sharmila has been leading a unique fight against AFSPA. She is on fast for the past nine years demanding its repeal. State government is too scared to let her die, so it has kept her under house arrest and is force feeding her through a pipe.   

Why does the government of India need so much violence and laws like AFSPA to assert its authority in Manipur? Manipur was the last kingdom to be annexed by colonial rulers of India in 1891. One of the first acts of the rulers of independent India was to declare their authority on all territories gained by the British Raj after much violence and treachery against people of the subcontinent. Boundaries of the British Raj were sanctified by inclusion in Constitution, questioning the territorial integrity of Indian state became a crime against state. So, millions of people living on border regions, who had little or no cultural and political connections with the so called ‘mainstream’ India, and had aspirations of their own to become independent countries, overnight became enemies of India. Armies of independent India waged their first war against people of Nagaland and Manipur. Manipur was re-annexed in 1949. AFSPA was a logical consequence of this policy. All this happened under the premiership of Nehru, supposedly the most democratic of Indian prime ministers. NSI salutes the valiant struggle of Irom Sharmila and people of Manipur against anti democratic and anti civil rights laws like AFSPA.

Public Meeting: State Violence at the Heart of Great Indian Democracy

Speakers: Gautam Navlakha (Human Rights Activist), Ujjwal Kumar (Peoples' Union for Democratic Rights)

Date & Venue: 23rd October, 2009, Activity Centre, Arts Fuculty, Delhi University

Background Note: Govt. of India recently cancelled more than one hundred thousand legal cases against adivasis of Jharkhand as a tactical move to win their hearts in the war against Maoists. These cases related to violations of forest laws of colonial parentage. Given their extreme destitution, and the nature of these laws, adivasis cannot but disregard these laws in the very process of living their lives. Yet, the Republic of India has merrily been declaring criminals some of its most poor citizens as a matter of routine for the past sixty years. According to reports from Chhatisgarh, the state sponsored Salwa Judum has displaced more than three hundred and fifty thousand adivasis in the old Bastar area. Fifty thousand have moved to neighbouring states, another fifty thousand are living under the surveillance of para-military forces in state controlled camps, the remaining two hundred and fifty thousand have moved deeper into the jungle to escape the violence and pillage of Salwa Judum. While the adivasis of Central India have faced, and resisted, state violence for long, the central home ministry under the leadership of suave and genteel home minister and prime minister has made plans for a larger offensive named ‘Operation Green Hunt’ (with the open possibility of aerial bombardment) to be launched in November this year. Elite media and state propaganda welcome such actions in the name of fighting Naxal violence. That may well be only less than half the story, because another reason for state operations in this area is the immense mineral wealth there which can not be passed on to Indian capital unless adivasis living there are displaced, and their life support systems completely destroyed. What kind of democracy displaces and traumatizes most destitute of its citizens? Has the liberal experiment of Indian democracy that married limited citizenship rights for all to privileges of propertied sections reached a dead end, and people of India need to look for a deeper and a wider democracy?  People who think and worry about practical politics to change India to a better society also need to ask how far the CPI (Maoist) strategy of armed movement in economically most backward and geographically isolated regions of the country is any thing more than Robin Hood style action, good for romantic sagas of courage and sacrifice, but of little historical revolutionary relevance? 

Public Meeting: Politics of Mobility: Urban Transport in Delhi

Speakers: Prof. Geetam Tiwari (IIT, Delhi), Rajendra Ravi (Institute of Democracy and Sustainability)

Date & Venue: 2nd September, 2009, Activity Centre, Arts Faculty, Delhi University

Background Note:  Roads are among the most public of all spaces in modern cities. All citizens have equal right to them legally. But are roads in India designed for equal access and safety of all road users? More than half of the nearly two thousand people killed every year in Delhi traffic are pedestrians and bicyclists. More than half the people using roads in Delhi rely of some form of public transport. But are requirements of pedestrians, bicyclists and public transport users getting equal priority from city government as it invests heavily in urban transport to make Delhi ready for Commonwealth Games? Looking back in history we find that in many cities it was the car-dependent middle class whose needs shaped the use of the street space, and the use of cars has transformed the urban areas. In Delhi the demand of motorists for removing congestion irrespective of efficient bus operations might halt the modernisation of public transport. In that case the process of urban renewal will suffer a setback. On the other hand, if the integrated concept of BRT, walkable cities and bicycling is made more politically attractive in the face of global warming, there might be a chance to counteract the growing risks associated with the globalised use of private cars.

Public Meeting: Ecology and Politics of Water

Speaker: Saumya Dutta (National Convener Bharat Jan Vigyaan Jatta, Delhi Platform) 

Date & Venue: 19th August, 2009, Activity Centre, Arts Faculty, Delhi University

Background NoteWater, a prime necessity of life, is increasingly becoming scarce. Its scarcity stamps the daily life of crores of Indians. Water table all over is falling, riverine flows are becoming erratic, and possibly so even the monsoon. As unavoidable as the natural scarcity of water is the social crisis it is engendering. The rich of India demand more and more water for their toilets, shopping malls and amusement parks. The Indian state is proving to be utterly incapable of rationally managing whatever water is available. The rulers of Delhi, for example, are planning to bring water from far off Uttarakhand and Himachal, while at the same time they are converting the flood plain of Delhi’s very own Yamuna to the concrete jungle of Akshardham temple, Commonwealth Games Village and Metro infrastructure. The poor of India bear the triple burden of natural shortages, profligacy of the rich, and an inefficient and corrupt state. Can the current political and economic system find a solution to these three contending facts? Nobody can escape the ecology and politics of water. Will the necessity of water for life force us to think of alternatives?

Public Meeting: Nepal at Cross Roads: Struggle for Democracy under the shadow of Class Rule

Speakers: Gautam Navlakha (Editorial Board Member, EPW), Anand Swaroop Verma (Journalist/Rights Activist), Laxman Pant (Activist associated with Nepalese Struggle)

Date & Venue: 9th May, 2009, Indian Social Institute, Lodhi Road, New Delhi

Background Note: The society and state in Nepal are again at crossroads. The immediate political future of Nepalese people hangs in balance. The march towards a true democracy will continue, or will it be stymied to open the way for reinstatement of the ‘old regime’. The present crisis came about due to the refusal of president Dr. R. B. Yadav of Nepalese Congress to sack army chief Gen. Katwal. The general was accused by the CPN (Maoist) led government of creating road blocks in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2006 which had ended the civil war and paved the way for the formation of the Constituent Assembly and abolition of monarchy. All major political parties have ganged up on this issue against Maoists, who have been the key political force pushing Nepal from feudalism to a modern democracy. Why have all these parties claiming to be democratic suddenly developed such love for an army general appointed by the erstwhile discredited king? They have realized that since the masses have deserted them the only instrument they can use to block Maoists is the old feudal Nepal Army. And, like all ruling elites they know that the key organ of any state power is the armed forces. Class rulership is always deep, it is never symbolic. The king may have been removed, but the privileged social classes of his time are still privileged. They would rather have the old feudal army than a new democratized army, even if this means breakup of the peace agreement and a return to civil war.

Developments in Nepal once again highlight the big power intentions of Indian rulers. It is not just ironic that independent India’s first prime minister, otherwise lionized as a statesman of peace, originator of the Panch Sheel and Non Aligned movement, continued with one sided agreements with Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim that colonial rulers of India had forced on these countries. For mass consumption Indian rulers display the China card to justify their meddling in Nepal, but their real intentions are pure and simple domination of Nepal. Like any foreign power, Indian rulers have always tried to put brakes on social development in Nepal. They have supported the feudals, the kings, and are now hand in gloves with the army and anti-Maoist political groups.

The current situation in Nepal, and reactions to it in India, also bring out many core unseemly aspects of bourgeois democracy. The ‘democrats’ of privileged classes will not hesitate for a moment to form alliances with anti-democratic feudals against popular upsurges, the ‘democrats’ of big powers will applaud their rulers who intervene in other countries, and the ‘democratic’ liberal media will indulge in obfuscation and lies to advance the politics of privileged classes (notice how the Indian media has blocked out any reference of the 2006 peace agreement, because that would expose their lies about Nepal Maoists). While there should be no doubt that bourgeois liberal democracy is a progressive step away from feudal or colonial autocracy, it remains a class rule and should not be confused with mass democracy. Even while it allows for a periodic re-legitimisation of bourgeois class rule via electoral processes, its other institutional structures, separate legislature and executive, ‘independent’ judiciary and a ‘free’ media are a shackle to mass political initiatives.

Why and how was Nepal pushed to the current crisis? What are the long terms interests and short term plans of different political forces there? How do they stand exposed now? Why Indian rulers will not let Nepal be itself? Why bourgeois democracy opposes the struggle for a fuller and true democracy?

Pre-May Day Public Meeting: Workers Movement: New Challenges and New Possibilities  

Speakers: P.K Sahi (Trade Union Leader AIFTU), Prof. Pabhu Mahapatra (Activist Scholar/ Labour Historian), Sanjay Kumar (NSI)

Date & Venue: 25th April, 2009, Hindi Bhavwan, Vishnu Digambar Road, ITO, Delhi

Background Note: The idea behind this programme is to listen to trade union activists / intellectuals-activists connected /concerned with the workers movement and hopefully generate a discussion.

Public Meeting & Film Screening: Exploring Gender on Campus: University Life Through Youth Narratives

Speakers: Naina Manjrekar (Student, Miranda House), Amartya Kanjilal (Student, Ramjas College), Pankhuri Zaheer (Student, Hindu College) and Prof. Uma Chakravarty (Eminent Feminist Historian)

Film: ‘Female Gaze’ is an attempt at understanding a gendered world from the perspective of women, working towards creating a space for the Female Gaze opposed to and beyond the dominant, omnipresent and questionably omnipotent male gaze that we all too often encounter and endorse.

Date & Venue: 4th March, 2009, Activity Centre, Arts Faculty, Delhi University

Background Note: A Dalit young man is lynched by an upper caste mob in Aurangabad because he dared to have an affair with an upper caste young woman. A girl from majority community commits suicide in Mangalore after her community people humiliate her for talking to a boy from minority community, and the boy is charged with abetting her suicide. At first instance, incidents like these seem infinitely far away from Delhi University. Yet, tentacles of patriarchy, caste, religion and family shape, constrain and test the youth here too. Young men try to socialize themselves into the world of ‘real men’, young women learn to react normally to the male gaze that follows them everywhere. However, they also explore new possibilities for their gendered subjectivities when they challenge existing norms of sexual harassment, or fashion their own female gaze. The discussion will attempt to uncover what does it mean to be a ‘man/woman’ in today’s campus life and uncover its relationships with wider social structures.

Public Meeting on 2nd Centenary of Darwin's Birth: How did Life Originate: A problem of Organization

Speaker: Prof. Sanjay Jain, Dept of Astrophysics, Delhi University

Date & Venue: 18th February, 2009, Activity Centre, Arts Faculty, Delhi University

Background Note: Charles Darwin's discovery of laws of Evolution revolutionized human understanding of life. It challenged many received orthodoxies. The complexity and diversity of living beings was not due to a Creator, but a result of natural processes. How did life originate from the physical world of molecules and chemical reactions?  The origin of life is one of the greatest mysteries. Even the simplest forms of life have an immensely complex organization. It is difficult to imagine how something like that could have spontaneously assembled itself. What, exactly, is the organizational puzzle from the point of view of physical science? The talk will attempt to describe that and also discuss a possible direction for a solution. The emergence of life-like organization in physical systems may have some parallels with self-organization in social systems.

Public Meeting: Palestine: A Symbol of Human Spirit to Never give in to Injustice

Speakers: Zikrur Rahman (Former Indian Special Representative to Ramallah), Saleh Shehab (Second Secretary, Embassy of Palestine, New Delhi)

Date & Venue: 4th February, 2009, Activity Centre, Arts Faculty, Delhi University

Background Note: For the past more than sixty years people of Palestine have braved one of the most violent and long lasting series of atrocities in human history. They have been terrorized by Zionist terror groups, and later after the establishment of the state of Israel in 1949, have been systematically uprooted from their homes, villages and towns, and made to live in refugee camps, under constant attack by Israel's armed thugs. The Palestinian difficulties started when Europe under its colonial supremacy of the world forced its 'Jewish problem' on to the Arab Palestine. Now, imperialist media and politicians often describe Palestinian struggle as terrorism. What terrorizes them most is that despite every diplomatic trickery, and relentless use of weapons of mass destruction against them, the people of Palestine have not been defeated.

Public Meeting: Art for Changing the World

Speaker: Dr. Keval Arora (K.M College, Convener for 30 years of The Players - The Students Theatre Group)

Date & Venue: 3rd December, 2008, Activity Centre, Arts Faculty, Delhi University

Background Note: n 1845, young Marx wrote 'Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point, however, is to change it.' Humans are the primary agency shaping their social world. The character of their agency is critically determined by the type of art they it produce and appreciate. If there is an art which helps humans adapt to their social world, there also is another kind of art which needles them, encourages them to ask discomforting questions about their world, and inspires them to envision alternatives to the existing world. The unmediated co-presence of the art and the audience in theater makes it perhaps potentially the most revolutionary of art forms, with examples ranging from the Epic Theater of Brecht to the Nukkad Natak (Street Theatre) of contemporary India.  

Public Meeting: Socialism for the 21st Century

Speakers: Prof. Achin Vinayak (Delhi University), Ravi Sinha (Radical Thinker/ Activist, NSI), Anand Swaroop Verma (Eminent Journalist/ Rights Activist)

Date & Venue: 30th November, 2008, Conference Hall, Rajendra Bhawan, Deen Dayal Upadhaya Road, Delhi

Background Note: Humanity stands at the threshold of new crises and new possibilities. As global capitalism takes humanity through another round of economic crisis, increasing unemployment, and poverty, a simple and stark question raises its head. Is humanity condemned to live with exploitation, oppression, dehumanising working conditions, wars and a looming ecological catastrophe, or is it capable of building a society without class, caste, and gender injustices, a society where the path to growth is not paved with poverty, hunger and overworked human bodies, where competitive greed is not the most rewarded human emotion. Rulers of the world since times immemorial, form Egyptian Pharoahs to Greek slave owners to Chinese Emperors to the current capitalist breed have always believed that they rule over the best of the world. The question raised above would scare them. For the people on the other hand, this question offers a stark choice. Either they succumb to ruling class ideologies, their obfuscations, allurements and sedation, and remain blind to it. Or, they doubt, critique and ask questions; if humanity is to make a better world, how should it go about it? What lessons does history teach in this regard?  

Ever since capitalism became the dominant social system, socialism has been integral to humanity’s endeavours to imagine and achieve a better social world. Against the private profit greed of capitalism, socialism pitted the ideal of collective well-being; against a discouraged and alienated mass of humans created by capitalist profit machines, socialism envisioned an active and organized humanity that is fully aware of historic capabilities and tasks; against the freedom to make profit by one that leads to the misery of many, socialism raised the banner of a society in which the ‘the free development of each is a condition for the free development of all.’  To imagine socialism will become irrelevant even while capitalist injustices continue, is to believe humanity to be a condemned species. On the other hand to imagine that specific answers to the above questions provided by socialist visionaries like Saint Simon, Fourier and Owen, or by Marx and Engels, who put socialist theory on a firm scientific basis, or by practitioners of socialism like Lenin and Mao, will be correct in every aspect in the context of current too will be incorrect. For, capitalism has changed. It has changed, through trial and errors while dealing with its own crises, and by its efforts to counter and deflect mass movements against its rule. The most significant changes have occurred in the political and ideological domain. Liberal bourgeois democracy has become the norm of state rule, not just in economically advanced countries, but in underdeveloped countries like India too. Feudal ideologies based on ideas of natural hierarchy and blind faith in the super natural have been replaced by individualism and consumerism of a mass society, which while freeing humans of hierarchical constraints also dis-empower them by obfuscating the social context of their life.

Revolutions of the twentieth century, the Russian, the Chinese, the Vietnamese, or the Cuban, managed to rid a segment of humanity from direct capitalism. History has shown that their success was only partial. While they succeeded in saving their societies from the crises they were in, they failed to put them irreversibly on the path to socialism. Our current context in the twenty first century demands a critical engagement with the history and legacy of these revolutions. Interestingly, it is also in the current context, at a stage of history already shaped by two centuries of capitalist rule and at a time when capitalism as a social system reigns unopposed for the first time globally, that one also hears renewed stirrings for socialism in settings as diverse as hills of Nepal in South Asia, and favelas of Venezuela in Latin America. What do experiences of these countries tell us about prospects of socialism?

We feel that it is time that we revisit these ongoing stirrings for socialism and also start the process of reenvisioning socialism for our times.

Public Meeting: Global Capitalism and its Crisis


Date & Venue:  5th November, Activity Centre, Arts Faculty, Delhi University

Background Note: The collapse of sub-prime markets in the USA has unleashed the latest financial crisis to hit global capitalism. Before this the South-Eat Asian currency crisis, and the melt down in Argentina and Russia had led to phenomenal losses in production and jobs. The current one is the latest storm from the belly of the beast itself. It comes in the wake of un-restrained neo-liberal orthodoxy in economic policy followed by capitalist rulers world wide for the past three decades. Why are economic crises so integral to capitalism? How do they fit in the systemic logic of capitalism? And how does capitalism deal with their social consequences? Governments have lined up public money to bail out rich fat cats who have lost chunks of their notional wealth. What have working people worldwide got; looming threats of unemployment, poverty and homelessness? Like always, rulers will try to pass on the cost of their crisis on to the ruled. Capitalist rulers have no option but to live with capitalism, or to tinker with it here and there for their immediate ends. Why does it have to be the same for working people? For how long will they suffer the system which in the most prosperous country in the world produces large number of unoccupied homes, while at the same time forces working people out of their homes because they cannot make mortgage payments?

Public Meeting: Global Warming and Capitalism

Speaker: Nagraj Adve (Delhi Platform)

Date & Venue: 20th August, 2008, Activity Centre, Arts Faculty, Delhi University

Background NoteWarming of Earth's atmosphere and oceans is now a scientifically established fact. According to most sober climatic analysis we may have time only up to 2015, after which the 'two degree tipping point' is likely to send Earth's environment into dangerously uncontrollable positive feedback loops. Capitalism has responded to global warming by trying remedies like carbon credits and bio fuels, which essentially push the burden of cleaning environmental mess created by richer classes and countries onto the poor. The lust for profit and necessity of accumulation have meant that cures attempted under capitalism are more and more resource intensive and do not address the core cause: unsustainable resource use by richer classes and countries. Is capitalism leading humanity to an unprecedented catastrophe? Is there a way out? Can we envision a social system that addresses the problem of global warming in an equitable manner? And if we can, how do we go about realizing it?


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